Oat bran has become a popular ingredient thanks to its flavor and nutritional benefits. Helping lower cholesterol while providing satiety and nutrients is a huge deal for diets these days. Oat bran delivers all these so it is now often consumed in place of breakfast cereals or added in baked goods like cookies and muffins.
If you’re hoping to follow a recipe with this ingredient but find trouble in getting your own pack, try some of the oat bran substitutes we’ve listed below.
Let’s start with bran alternatives:
1. Rice Bran
Rice bran is an effective and great substitute for oat bran. It’s made from the brown outer layer of rice kernel which is processed during the milling process of rice.
Both rice bran and oat bran have soluble fibers which can help in stabilizing blood-sugar levels. It can also help reduce levels of bad cholesterol by preventing people from overeating because it makes people feel fuller. A cup of oat bran can be replaced with a cup of rice bran for most recipes.
You can replace oat bran with rice bran in muffins, cake, cookies, and smoothies. You can also add it in your cereal or supplement it with your flour to cook other dishes. It will provide the added important nutrients to your recipes.
2. Wheat Bran
Like rice bran, wheat bran is also made from the outer shell of wheat kernels that get stripped away during milling. It’s a versatile product that can replace oat bran for the same recipes.
Consuming wheat bran for two weeks instead of other breakfast cereals and grains can supposedly improve digestive health better than increasing the consumption of fruits and veggies for the same purpose. But while wheat bran has these advantages, it isn’t as diverse in nutrients as oat bran.
For substituting oat bran in your recipes, you can use the same amount of wheat bran. It’s a versatile ingredient that can thicken soups and stews and can be added into waffles, pancakes, muffins, and breads. You can also fortify your breakfast cereals with a few spoons of this.
3. Corn Bran
Corn bran is also a great and tasty alternative to oat bran. This food product is made from the tough outer skin of the corn kernel. When these kernels are processed, the outer layer gets removed and is then made into corn bran.
Compared to wheat bran, corn bran has a high fiber content. It contains insoluble fiber as well which can help your gut. This option, while valuable in its own worth, doesn’t have the blood-stabilizing and cholesterol control effects of oat bran.
You can use corn bran as you would prepare oat bran. A cup of corn bran is also equal to a cup of oat bran. This food can be added for your breakfast cereals. Also, you can use it as an ingredient in a variety of baked foods. Corn bran may taste a bit blander so adding some other ingredients would be helpful to boost the flavor of your recipe.
More Oat Bran Substitutes to Try:
If oat bran is made from the outer part of the plant, oatmeal comes from the inner part. As such, oatmeal has a denser texture and heavier weight. Still, it makes for a great replacement for oat bran.
By now, people are already aware of the many health benefits oatmeal offer. Some of these include heart-healthy effects, weight control, and gut support. Its nutritional profile makes it an appealing food that is also easy to prepare.
To substitute oat bran with oatmeal, it’s best to grind the oatmeal before using so its texture won’t affect your recipes. You will need about ¾ cup of oatmeal for a cup of oat bran.
Oatmeals can make for a great breakfast porridge. It also works in different recipes like cakes, desserts, cookies, and breads that need oat bran.
5. Wheat Germ
Another wheat-based option, wheat germ can also work for dishes that need oat bran. As you may have noted, wheat germ is separate from wheat bran. The main difference between the two is the part of wheat in which they are harvested.
Wheat germ comes from the seed of wheat. It’s a great source of essential nutrients like thiamin, zinc, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamin E. It also contains fiber that can assist in various body functions. In fact, wheat germ offers more dietary fiber than oat bran which is both a pro and a con depending on your diet.
You can eat wheat germ directly by topping it on yogurt or cereal. As an ingredient, you can bake it in muffins, make pancakes, add it to smoothies and protein shakes and cook it in casseroles.
Flaxseeds are yellow and brown seeds that can work as another healthy substitute for oat bran. It’s a great way to add omega-3 and excellent dietary fiber to your meal.
If you’d like to add this for recipes needing fine texture, try to grind it before using. Like oat bran, flaxseed has medicinal purposes like improving bowel movements and lowering cholesterol levels.
With a mild nutty flavor, flaxseed complements a variety of recipes. It’s mostly used in baked goods like cakes and muffins. Ground flaxseed or whole ones can be added in yogurt, parfaits, smoothies, salads, oatmeals, and breakfast cereals.
Depending on what you need it for, you have to adjust the amount of flaxseed you use for your dish. Try to start with as little as half the amount of oat bran then try and add more as you like.
7. Sunflower seeds
Another good seed to use instead of oat bran is sunflower seed. This has a nutty and grassy flavor that has its own charm when added in your meals.
Sunflower seeds are also nutritious food that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It can help boost your immune system and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Like flaxseed, it’s best to use ground sunflower seeds to substitute oat bran in recipes that need smooth texture. It’s also better to roast the seeds before grinding or mixing it in your dish.
You can use sunflower seeds in salads, smoothies, cereals, cookies, bread, cakes and muffins.
8. Almond Flour
What’s flour doing in this list? Well, flour can also help you complete your recipe when you don’t have any oat bran available. One great choice as an alternative to oat bran is almond flour.
Almond flour has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. This is great especially for baked recipes needing that sweet smelling bread aroma. You can also use this for other foods like breakfast smoothies, meat loaf, and pastas.
9. Whole-wheat flour
Another flour that works in place of oat bran. This flour also has a nutty taste that works great in cooking delicious flour-based recipes.
Whole-wheat flour contains a high amount of fiber, antioxidants, protein, and minerals. It can help against heart diseases and diabetes. It is, however, not recommended for those with celiac disease.
You can use whole-wheat flour to make cakes, cookies, breads, and muffins instead of oat bran.
Can I use flour instead of oat bran?
Yes, you may. Like the ones listed above, flour can work the same way as oat bran in making recipes like cookies, muffins, etc. It will not have the same flavor and nutritious benefits but if you’re in a pinch, you can use flour.
If you’re going to use flour, the most recommended alternatives to oat bran are oat flour, whole-wheat flour, almond flour and chickpea flour.
Is oat bran the same as rolled oats?
Rolled oats are processed to cut down on cook time. It is, however, made from the entire oat groat but is just flattened and lightly toasted. On the other hand, oat bran is made only from the outer layer of the oat groat.
Other types of bran from different grains can replace oat bran for its limited culinary use. If you are not so sure about using bran, you can also use flour or seeds instead which may not share a lot of similarities to oat bran but still function just as well. Each of these oat bran substitutes have their individual worth that can make your recipes tastier and more nutritious. Try them out in your next meal.